Community members come together for a vigil following deadly shooting at a Florida high school
Florida Governor Rick Scott spoke at a vigil this afternoon for the victims of Wednesday's deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
17 balloons were released into the air to remember victims after the school shooting.
(NBC News) -
Community members come together for a vigil following Wednesday's deadly mass shooting at a south Florida high school.
Several religious, community, and state leaders spoke to the crowd of about 800 people at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs.
They then released 17 balloons into the air to remember the victims as people bowed their heads, prayed, cried and linked arms to express sadness and solidarity.
Governor Rick Scott addressed the crowd and said only a prayer -- asking god to comfort the victims.
Gov. Rick Scott, (R) Florida said, "Give us courage and wisdom to use this tragedy to come together to comfort all the families who have lost their loved ones. Please take care of all the individuals still in our hospitals recovering. Please help all the students, the teachers, and everyone that were impacted at the school that will be haunted by this tragedy."
Cruz was later arrested in Coral Springs and has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
A motive behind the shooting spree remains unclear, but investigators say Cruz was expelled from the school last year for disciplinary reasons.
Previous: President Trump said Thursday "our entire nation with one heavy heart is praying for the victims and their families" of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
"No child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an American school," Mr. Trump added. "No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them good-bye in the morning."
He did not address gun control.
The president's comments came one day after 17 people were killed and 19 more were seriously wounded when a former student pulled a fire alarm at the school, then opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz was taken into custody shortly after the shooting, roughly a mile from the scene. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Previous: “No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning,” President Trump said. "I want to speak now to America’s children, I want you to know that you are never alone. And you never will be. You have people who care about you. Who love you. And who will do anything at all to protect you."
President Trump addressed the nation after a gunman opened fire inside a high school in Florida.
Trump said he's making plans to visit Parkland, Florida to meet with families and local officials and to continue the federal response.
Seventeen people were killed with 14 others were wounded, five of whom have life-threatening injuries.
Police said the gunman was armed with an AR-15 style semiautomatic rifle and multiple magazines at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday afternoon.
Previous: Authorities were responding to an active shooter at a Florida high school on Wednesday afternoon. The situation still was not secured, more than an hour after it began.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., told MSNBC just before 4 p.m. that "there were a number of fatalities," citing Broward County officials, and that the shooter was not in custody, although authorities believed they knew who he was.
"This is a really bad day," Nelson said.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that the shooter was still at large at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Earlier, the sheriff's office tweeted that "there are reports of victims," but did not say how many people were injured. Broward County Public Schools said on Twitter that the sound of gunfire broke out shortly before school was dismissed for the day, and that it received reports of "possible multiple injuries."
The high school went on immediate lockdown, Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky told NBC Miami. She did not have details on casualties or who the shooter was.
"It’s sad. It’s sad that these tragedies happen in our country," she said. "Many of the students have been in touch with their parents. We have, many many parents out here."
A parent of a student told the station that her son was hiding inside a closet at the school with classmates, and that teachers had told them not to leave the building.